A man in Texas is being tested and monitored for an outbreak virus found overseas, but it’s not Ebola.

Image/Maureen Metcalfe; Azaibi Tamin
Image/Maureen Metcalfe; Azaibi Tamin

Health officials at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster, TX say they are treating a patient  with a suspected case of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

According to Kurt Koopmann, public information officer for the Galveston County Health District, the patient, a man in his 70s, had recently traveled to the Arabian Peninsula. Currently laboratory analysis on the patients’s samples is pending.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About 30% of people confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection have died.

So far, all the cases have been linked to countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula.

To date, there has been two imported MERS cases in the US, one in Indiana and one in Florida.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Since April 2012 and as of 9 October 2014, 892 cases of MERS-CoV have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 356 deathsFor more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page